tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN December 28, 2013 7:00pm-8:31pm EST
bringing wireless connectivity to a camera. linking products like that, linking them to the internet, to each other is a big opportunity for us. you have you have been watching the communicators on c-span. we have been showing you short portions of interviews that we have done. if you would like to see the full discussions from this program or other interviews that we have done, go to our website, ators..org/communic [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> c-span, brought to you as a public service by your cable television provider. weingarten is our guest on newsmakers. here is a preview.
>> it does not look bleak to me at all because what all of this the dominantthat strategy that we have used for a decade is not the strategy that is going to kick the door open to help all children succeed. it is just like the strategies that we used in the 70's and 1980s. you see incremental grains. -- gains. in the 1960's you see bigger games and you did in the 1970s, 1980's and, 1990's. with the war on poverty we focused on equity. i'm giving kids that have the least creating a more level playing field. the you saw in the terms of 1970s, 19 80s, 1990s, and now, is that we actually didn't do? -- we did some
programs that help some kids, but not all kids. in the last 10 years with no child kind is that we said that testing and sanctions are going to be the dominant strategy. the countries that outcompete us do not use that. what they do instead is that they actually focus on ensuring that kids get really good teachers and really good teaching and have a real focus on equity as well. i am optimistic is because i think there is a growing recognition that you cannot test her way to tremendous gains in public education in the united states. you cannot sanction your way to tremendous gains in public education in the united states. onwatch the entire interview
"newsmakers," sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c- span. like tonight on c-span, our series on earth ladies continues with a look at the life and times of lou hoover. later, the congressional gold medal ceremony for native american code talkers from world war i and world war ii. >> lou and herbert hoover came to the white house as trained geologists. and experience world travelers who were successful in both the private and public sectors. months into hoover's term, the market crashed. first lady lou hoover used her office to advocate charity, but there one term and it among rate
public frustration. good evening. tonight is the story of lou henry hoover. light --nteresting like she had. here to tells about her years before the white house is a net dunlap. and, author, scholar at the hoover institution and working on a biography of lou henry hoover. tot interested you enough spend several years of your life at this woman? >> when i first started looking at lou, i realize this was the woman whose story has not been completely told. there has been a legacy she has left, for women even today, that i would like to see people know about. let's start with her growing up years. she was born in waterloo, iowa. her father really wanted a boy.
>> so they say and so the name lou, which is not short for louise or any other type of genuinely female name -- he pretty much raised her as a tomboy. one of the early pictures of her with her father is of her fishing in a stream. we have a picture that we will show later of her carrying a rifle. a lot of the diary talks about her shoe -- joy of being able to hunt, fish, and be outdoors. >> how did that translate into her grown-up life? >> or does -- her decision to study geology at stanford university was an outgrowth of that. on camping trips at the age of 63 and 67. she ran horseback -- rode horseback and slept on the ground while other camp mates
slept in tents on pallets. >> from a public policy perspective, she spent years encouraging other young women to incorporate the outdoors and physical activity into their lives. it was not just for her. she saw a benefit or women at a time when women were not doing this. >> it was a time when women were being more physically active, and she took the next step. there were two areas where she got involved in that. the first was the girl scouts. that was an opportunity for her to promote more outdoor activity. camping, hiking, learning how to build a campfire, enjoying the outdoors. the other part of what she was involved in was the national amateur athletics foundation. she made sure that sports and physical activity for women were appropriate for women and not just something for men that women did.
>> we will answer your questions. you can get your questions in in many ways. you can tweet us. we will work as many tweets into the program as we can. we have a facebook conversation going on. you see the lou henry hoover photograph and there is a conversation going on. please join in the conversation tonight. much to learn about this interesting woman. how did she get from iowa to california? >> her father started out as a clerk at a bank. this is in the days before the federal reserve and banks did not always succeed. they went up and down with economies.
her father was looking for other opportunities and was given the opportunity to start a bank in whittier, california. this was in 1887. they were building a brand-new community. it had been founded by the quakers. they said they were open to any fair-minded people of any religion. >> here is the connection between whittier, california. richard nixon was a quaker. we have videos to show you. >> her father had always wanted a boy. that is why she is named lou. it is not short for anything. it is actually lou. she becomes a tomboy. she learns to shoot and fish.
they go camping and are up in the mountains a lot. >> this is a .22 rifle. you have this photograph. it is an early photograph of her on top of this mule. she looks rough and tough. she has this gun right there. annie oakley. it is that era and she is that type of girl. she is an independent girl. this was written on january 31 of 1890. she's talking about being independent and doing her own thing. sooner or later, she met a spirit as independent as her own and there was a clash of arms
ending in mortal combat or they unite forces to go into the world. she met that person with herbert hoover. she is at college and talking about the different classes she takes. one of the classes she talks about is botany classes. she likes going outdoors. she refers to ms. palmer. she says they were a good match for climbing. we beat the others all to pieces. they found lots of flowers, lupins, primroses -- as a part of the class, they were also drawing flowers. there are flowers and butterflies. different kinds of things.
you have the latin name, as well. that is what she would have been learning. she does not write about herself, necessarily. she writes about her experiences in life and she is a highly educated woman. her parents created -- both her mom and dad created an open environment and encouraged her to do things. she was able to do that and she explore that as well as she could. >> we were commenting, as we are watching the photographs, of how full of life she is an day comes through in these photographs years later. her decision to study geology, she was one of the first women to earn a degree in geology. a 'rocky' path.
>> it was very unusual. you're not 100% sure but we may be she may have been the first woman to get a degree in geology. one of the things i recently learned is that the male students went out on field trips and she was not allowed to go because she was a woman. knowing how much he loved i can imagine how upset she was. >> she graduated with a degree. since it was unusual -- unheard of for women to have a degree, were their jobs available or her? >> no. she sends a letter to a friend about three weeks after she has graduated from stanford and a.b. whichi am, the
is both a mean the latin form of the bachelor of arts and what i would give if she meant "a boy." herbert hoover, a fellow geology student at stanford. out of that relationship develop? >> herbert was a senior at the time that he started, even though that lou is six months older. they were both born in 1874. he was born in august, she in march. he was a lab assistant. he had -- that professor had delivered a lecture on geology and he took an instant liking to her. whimsicalabout her smile, her laughing blue eyes, what an intelligent and delightful young woman she was , i believe that she needed some assistance.
>> he was a quaker. she had lived in a quaker community. there were connections that brought the two of them together. he took a job and left her. what happened to the relationship after sanford? -- stanford? >> i think there was a strong connection and interest there. his job took him do nevada and then to australia. he was working in australia. they continue to communicate. he was offered a position in china and he sent her a telegram. the telegram went to the post office and the post office sell these names new -- these names lou and bird. it was not a formal proposal, just said, heading to china, will you join me? so the postmaster posted it on the bulletin board for everyone to see it. [laughter] >> that is like going on the internet today.
>> it was an invasion of privacy. >> we call him herbert hoover but her nickname for him was bert. .e have a robust website every week there is a special item attached for the first lady we are looking at. today you can see lou henry's the a degree from stanford university. you can see that document which did not serve her well in the job market but introduced her to a life-changing partner. >> absolutely. >> she said yes to china. what was china like at the time you cope -- at the time you go >> -- at the time? they left for china the day after they married. they were there when the boxer rebellion occurred. >> to the hoover's stay in china it influence their clinical policies and the white house?
>> i think a lot of countries influenced them. they were looking for ways to keep our freedom. they saw what it was like to be in countries with freedom taken. >> what influenced their joint philosophy? what was it about the development that led them to view the world in that way? >> i do not know if they had this view when i started out, over time, they were in china during the boxer rebellion and lived in countries where people had their freedoms curtailed. as americans and being talking points of individual freedom, -- and being taught the points of individual freedom they are , enjoying the same freedom and freedom of choice. they realized that that was something that was very important.
the hoover's acquired quite a bit of wealth and were very successful. >> multimillionaires by the time that they got to the white house. >> the boxer rebellion, which you referred to, was a protest against foreign influence in china. were their lives threatened? >> their lives were threatened. they were under siege and had barricades. lou went out and manned the barricades. she was out there where the weaponry was. she was involved with the red cross and got supplies to aid people. she was sitting in the house when a bullet came through the front door. she pulled out a deck of cards and did not miss a beat. it did not phase her. he wrote a letter to the same friend that she had written to about the eight b meaning a boy and said that she has missed the most exciting summer. >> their travels, we have a graphic on our screen.
it shows the breadth of the positions taken around the world. they were posted in china and london. put them in the middle of the lead up to world war i. he took the job is part of the commission for the relief of belgium. later on, the head of the u.s. food administration. it then became the head of the american relief administration after world war i. he served as the secretary of commerce under harding and coolidge. one question, i read that hoover was a globetrotter, how many countries did she visit? beyond china and london, what other parts of the world that they see? >> they were in several of the countries in southeast asia. burma, cambodia. burma, she went to australia. the travel to the countries of north africa.
they traveled in some of the countries in the middle east. they were also in russia. that is just the short list. >> during this time, they published together. what was that aspect of their career? >> she had published pieces on geology on her own. one of them was a biography on the creator of the seismograph. the work that they did together was a translation of a treatise on mining. it was written in latin and had a lot of technical latin terms. she had studied latin and they used a translator. it won an award and it was the first award given by the association for mining and metallurgy. lou gave the remarks and accepted the medal.
>> david is from chicago. >> hi. i just want to ask about the relationship with the white house staff. i read lillian park's book when it came out. it did not portray mrs. hoover as a very nice worsen. -- person. apparently, she and the president wanted the white house staff to disappear. they were jumping into closets and hiding behind curtains. they did not speak to the staff. in addition, i read that mrs. hoover would communicate using hand signals and that drove the white house staff crazy. they did not understand which -- what she was asking for. on one hand, a compassionate woman. on the other hand, not very nice to the white house staff. >> thank you. let's find out how she
approached the white house staff and how that squared with her public image. >> the caller raises good questions and there is a lot of material out there that supports what he read. i think one of the things that we have to look at, as historians, is when did this material come out. anything that came out when the roosevelts were in office -- there was such an enormous anti- hoover sentiment, that people capitalize on an anti-hoover message. some of those things are things that we need to look at carefully. we do know that the hoover's paid several of the staff out of their own funds and make sure that all of the staff ate three meals a day. it is a mixed message about what
was going on with the white house and it needs to be looked at carefully. >> catherine on facebook asks about what mrs. hoover's opinions were of the women's suffrage movement. was she ever involved in it and anyway? any evidence of her being actively involve touch you wrote -- involved, but she wrote and interesting thing when she was 15 in support of suffrage. she did not think it was right that women should declassified in the same category as jailbirds and convicts. in other words, be denied the right to vote. convicted felons cannot vote. she was in favor of seeing women get the right to vote. she was not an active suffragette. >> being somewhat of a tomboy, did she believe in equality between men and women? >> absolutely. >> let's show you the video about some of the travels around
the world and some of the artifacts. >> they tended to focus on ming and other periods, 300 or 400 years ago. they collected this their entire lives. they developed the best collection and united states of chinese porcelains. having learned to speak chinese in china, she would research the artists. so, they were always trading these. they had as many as 400 at one point. they tried to get matched sets. here are some pieces of pewter.
here are pieces that could have been used for teapots and various things of that sort. this collection does not go beyond 1920. we have 50 or 60 of these and our collection. throughout all of her travels, this was representative of all the places they went. she start collecting weapons. i'm not sure where that idea came from. here is some boomerangs from time in australia. we're pretty sure this is an indonesian piece. it might have been a decorative thing but i think it had some sort of a, some sort of a weapon. it doesn't seem to be particularly sharp but i think it would do some damage to somebody.
here's a bayonet. here is a dagger with a wooden handle. swords seem to be one of her favorite things to collect. we have a number of them here. there are a variety of nationalities and shapes. >> while that video was going on, we have another guest on our set. welcome. we learned that herbert hoover ended up in the harding and coolidge cabinets as the secretary of commerce. he was the republican choice for president in 1928. set the scene for us. >> the american economy has been growing in leaps and bounds through the 1920s. herbert hoover has been this prominent secretary of commerce. the word to hooverize has come into the language. there are hopes and expectations around hoover.
he is the great humanitarian and engineer. he is able to get the nomination in 1928 from the reputation he has built up in world war i and as secretary of commerce. there is also an incredible relief effort in 1927. >> this is a time when mass media is coming into play. how did that affect his popularity? >> he got a lot coverage. there were news reels. he had a film made of himself. it was called "master of emergencies." it showed how capable he was. the media was important. >> what was the election like?
>> it was a landslide. he wins 60% of the vote and an enormous portion of the electoral college. it is an election where the democrats have nominated al smith. he is the first catholic to be nominated for a national major party. herbert hoover is a beneficiary of a divide that happens on the democratic side. al smith is opposed from within because of his catholicism and concerns about prohibition. hoover escapes an internal battle. >> it is important to note that he came in with a republican congress. >> he did. >> one would think there was lots of support for his programs. >> one would think.
[laughter] >> how involved was lou hoover in the campaign? >> she worked on all the campaign appearances and was very visible. part of the press that was out at that time was in conjunction with al smith being the nominee. his wife was from the lower east side of new york so there was this comparison of this woman who is not knowledgeable and sophisticated against lou hoover who is a graduate of stanford and has traveled the world. she was a very sophisticated woman. she had gained national prominence from her other activities. >> michael is watching us in san antonio. you are on. >> hello. yes. i want to comment on mrs. hoover. she seemed very unorthodox for the late 1920s and early 1930s. she seemed way ahead of her time.
she was eclipsed by elenor roosevelt and the glamour of jacqueline kennedy. she has been forgotten. how was she perceived at the time by the press and the public? >> the depression was coloring people's view of her tenure. >> there was expectations and enthusiasm. a lot was expected. she was involved with girl scouts and was involved in the athletic amateur federation. she had hosted and chaired a conference on women in law- enforcement. she tried to get equal enforcement of prohibition laws. she was very well known.
one of the things that she did was -- as the caller points out, she was unorthodox. she inherited grace coolidge's social ceric -- secretary. mary randolph wanted lou to do things the "washington society" way of things. those two parted company after the end of one year. lou did not hire another social secretary. she introduced a lot of changes. she was very unorthodox. >> you know what the inauguration look like? >> i believe -- some have opted not to have an inaugural ball. >> it was pouring rain that day. they got soaked in the ceremony. they did not attend the ball. the vice president and his
sister-in-law attended the ball. it was considered a charity ball and not an inaugural ball. >> what was the charity? >> that's a good question. i don't have the answer. [laughter] i will tweet it. >> i'm big fan of this series and i know all about the presidents. what was lou hoover's favorite activity in the white house? >> i'm not sure there was one. i will pick two. one would be taking care of the gardens and loving outdoors. the other was chronicling the history of the furniture and decorations of the white house. >> how long were they in office
before the stock market crashed? >> eight months. >> were there any warnings? >> there were some in hindsight. there had been a stock market bubble coming into office. there had been a little bit of financial volatility. it had been sorted out by major bankers in new york who got together to make sure the stock market was back on track. there was an economic depression in agriculture that had been ongoing since world war i. there were certainly some bad economic signals in the air. nobody expected what happened on october 21. the stock market tumbles. it seems to regroup.
herbert hoover makes a statement. he says that the basis of the american economy is sound. he is trying to build confidence. the following tuesday, the stock market crashes. >> we missed a story that i do not want to leave on the table, she had a controversial appointment to the white house of an african american member of congress's wife. >> it was common for the first lady to have teas for the wives of the members of congress. in previous administrations, there was one event and it was over. in 19 -- in the same year that hoover was elected, 1928, chicago elected the first
african-american in 28 years. they invited mrs. dupriest to have tea. they had conversations about how this could be handled. one of the decisions made was, instead of having a massive tea, they broke into six. each group of congressional wives are selected as a group. some of what was going on was that particular wives who might not be offended were vetted during one of these. in the meantime, as they prepare, herbert invites the president of tuskegee institute
to join him for a meeting at the white house. this raises no questions. even though an african american had not met with the president since booker t. washington had met with theodore roosevelt. on june 6, the day after the fifth tea, lou sent an invitation. she comes and they have a tea. the congressman publicizes this and it gets a lot of attention. everything seems ok. a week later, the representative hosts a musical and tea. it is a fundraiser for the naacp. all of a sudden, the southern delegations and the southern
state legislatures realize that this is getting out of hand. and, it is all because mrs. hoover had an african-american at the white house. the entire summer, you have sent -- censure and threats from the southern states and members of congress to censure mrs. hoover. it becomes quite a brouhaha. >> it is a precarious time for african-americans in the united states. how did it affect their future over the next few years over that brouhaha? >> in that time, the republican party was the party of civil rights and the party of african- americans. herbert hoover, in 1928, had broken into -- harding made a
slight inroad to it -- but hoover was trying to balance expectations of the party of lincoln and a heritage of civil rights and seeing that there are inroads to the south, which is democratic territory. hoover and lou have to negotiate the after effects of this brouhaha. it has a substantial effect. hoover does not necessarily have a solid base in congress at this time. southern democrats are outraged at him.
there are what known as lilly- white republican organizations that are trying to become viable by respecting traditional racial mores. they are not very happy at what happened. on the one hand, it is a positive gesture that lou and herbert hoover do. on the other hand, they do not build or maintain momentum beyond that. >> when he needed them, after the depression, it had political ramifications. >> it was part of a larger picture of difficulties that herbert hoover had with the congress. both the republican congress, as you said, in 1928 he has a unified congress. in 1930, the democrats win back the house and that is more problematic. the problem that herbert hoover is not a politician. he has risen to the heights of secretary of commerce and then to president without ever holding elected office.
the only other presidents who have gone straight to the top have been generals. herbert hoover does not have this background of dealmaking and dealing with politicians. he is quite superior towards politicians. he feels that he is the only known a person with a negative iq. he does not get along with politicians to do what he needs to do to make deals. >> some past couples have had a wife ending up being the better politician. was this the case? >> it was not. they were two sides of the same coin in the same way that herbert hoover was not a politician because he was an effective administrator, lou was the same way.
she was always in a leadership role where negotiation was not a skill that she had to develop. she was, in some respects, a little bit better able to handle troubled waters than herbert was. she did try to invite people for dinner where they could have an exchange of ideas and get him to talk about some of the issues that are going on. a lot of the time, she was probably doing a lot of the same types of things that he was. as we mentioned, and she got rid of her social secretary and was no longer engaged in the social side of washington, that was an area that was shut down for them. >> duncan. >> good evening. i was just hearing about the experience that hoover may or may not have had with father
charles coughlin. >> the radio broadcaster who was using the airwaves -- do you know the story of father coughlin? >> he was a radio priest and with the start of radio, he had an amazing idea to take his sermons onto the air and does so quite successfully with a strong political message. >> what was that message? >> it is a message of sharing wealth, in some ways. regulating banks and businesses. he is considered to be both left-wing and incredibly isolationist. but, actually, in terms of relationship with hoover, his political movement builds up steam in the mid-30s.
i don't think he is a factor at the time of hoover postured ministration. hoover's administration. >> are there any parallels with today and the tea party? >> absolutely. this is a new era and radio is showing that it has incredibly wonderful potential and a potential to give a voice to people who become demagogues. like charles coughlin and huey long. these are movements that get going in the 1930s after franklin roosevelt's election. there is this huge ideological battle going on, essentially, throughout the 1930s.
whether he is completely behind it or not, hoover is on one side of it and franklin roosevelt gets to be on the other. there are people in between who have our own movements who use the radio to promote it. >> just to give you a topline glimpse of how much the country changed during years of the great depression, in terms of unemployment, unemployment was 3.2% in 1929. by 1933, it was 24.9%. so, how did the hoover's, particularly lou hoover, use the white house when they realized the severity of the situation facing society? >> her big cause was volunteerism and getting people to pitch in to help.
particularly people who were not impacted by the depression. she was involved in the girl scouts and 4-h clubs. she was involved in agricultural communities where they were still having success with the economy. they had not really bottomed out and she got them to get in there and share. to provide for the neighbors and see where there were needs. >> we have a clip of lou hoover encouraging the 4-h. >> we have all read and heard so much about these organizations. this year, there are more people in need. more than usual in need of your care. there is something each one of you can do. a special achievement awaits you. joining a four-h club, you
decide on a problem you will attack and you lay out a plan of action. you go to work to carry out that plan. you do it enthusiastically. >> how far could volunteerism go to address the scope of the problems of society? >> it is easy to ask that question now. we have to realize that nobody ever expected the great depression to be as deep, as severe, or as long-lasting as it was. the hoover's had seen volunteerism be successful in the short term when they were involved with the commission for the relief of belgium during world war i, during hoover's time with the u.s. food administration and asking people to have meatless fridays and wheatless mondays to preserve food. they had limitations but they were more dictated i what was going on in the economy and this
was a more serious problem than anyone could understand at the time. >> blake is watching us in arkansas. >> thank you. i enjoy the show. i have a question about the relationship between elenor roosevelt and lou hoover? >> you know if there is a connection between the women in this point in time? >> there was no connection at this point in time. when the roosevelt came into obvious -- office, it was obviously not very cordial. there was some discussion about not having the traditional night before the inauguration dinner with the roosevelts because of how much hostility there was during the campaign. mrs. roosevelt became the first lady and she became the honorary president of the girl scouts. lou resumed an administrative
position inside of the girl scouts and described mrs. roosevelt as very cordial. hoover's were very interested in flying. they had been friends with the lindbergh's and who had spoken at an event where amelia earhart was being honored. >> while lou hoover was promoting volunteerism, she try to put things in front of congress, like the hoover dam. they do not sound very republican from this perspective. why were they not effective in addressing what was happening? >> i think there was an issue of
scale. people did not exactly grasped at the beginning how huge or how long this would last for. hoover tries to do several things, he tries to do it in a complementary way to what lou is doing through volunteerism. he creates the president's emergency committee on unemployment and he tries to get together all of the agencies of the state and local governments. the red cross. he tries to coordinate places to coordinate information about unemployment and relief efforts. he tries to use the federal government in a noncoercive way to encourage people voluntary -- encourage voluntary organizations to get more involved and know how they can get more involved. >> we are being watched in texas.
>> thank you for taking my call. this is a great series. i visited the hoover museum. i wondered what lou hoover's fascination was with embroidered flowers. >> right. the embroidered flowers that you saw were embroidered the women of belgium and they were sold as a way to raise money after world war i so that they could purchase food. >> next is a call from john in california. hello, john. >> thank you for c-span. my mother's family is from waterloo, iowa. my mother was nicknamed after lou. apparently the family knew them
in waterloo. my mother's family was involved in the creation of the republican iowa party. anyways, i'm bragging. >> all right. thank you very much. lots of personal connection. the hoovers took a personal approach to the stories. how did they respond to the pleas for help? >> they were always getting letters for help. weather was to have them send money or put in a good word with the president. so, when she started getting letters and asking for requests for help, she had to determine how many of these were traditional letters and how many of these were legitimate. if she got a letter that she
thought was legitimate, she would pass it onto a friend. she would ask a friend to find out whether or not this is actually legitimate and who this person is. whether or not they would benefit from assistance. and she got the word back from her friends that this was somebody who would benefit, she would anonymously, usually through a friend or through somebody else in the community, she would anonymously send money to help that person. to ask whoever was being the transmitter of the funds to keep an eye out on the recipient and keep her posted on what was going on. >> they saw the creation of communities called hoovervilles.
there was also a march of the bonus marchers. how much was society affected? how did these hoovervilles affect the public perception of the economy? >> by 1932, you have almost 20% unemployment and everybody knows somebody who has lost their job and is facing economic hardships. there start to be increasing protests. the bonus march was the most prominent. this is veterans from world war i who, in 1924, had been promised a bonus. an additional payment. that was going to mature in 1945. calvin coolidge had vetoed this legislation in 1924.
it had passed over his veto. the bonus march was about the fact that they were suffering now and could not wait. what they wanted with a full payment of their own as early. -- bonus early. congress that they can loan a certain amount. hoover had disapproved. they passed it over his veto. hoover vetoed the bonus marchers and there were over 10,000 of them. they were trying to push congress to pass the full bonus. the house does and the senate does not. there is a situation where 10,000 people camp out in washington. they have effectively failed and congress. what do we do with them? hoover makes a move where he
asks the army to help move the bonus marchers. this turns into an incredibly graphic and violent episode. general douglas macarthur uses pretty violent means to make them move on their way. scenes like this. this is in the summer of 1932. >> you can see the capital right behind it very >> this does not look good at all for the hoovers. it does not look like he is concerned about the forgotten man. >> the stress on the hoovers had to be in enormous. one of the things they did was establish a retreat in the shenandoah mountains. we're going to look at that and when we come back we're going to
have you talk about how they in due word as a people and as a couple during the depression. ndured as and -- e people and a couple during the depression. >> the first time that the hoover's came to the camp was by horse back. there was no roads. they came up to the headwaters of the rapid river and there were 164 acres for sale that were sandwiched between two small streams. in those days, it was five dollars an acre. for less than $1000 they , purchased 164 acres. she was instrumental in the design of this camp. and shows her love of nature and her simplest today. she enjoyed being outdoors. it is the opposite of other buildings that they had in their life. they tried to create a retreat where they could relax and get back to nature.
lou wanted the house to be outside as much as possible. she had a design where the windows would open and screens would let the air in. she could smell the outdoor smells coming through into her room. she could be inside, yet, at the same time, have the feeling of being outside. the sun porch was her office and it is a beautiful room with windows surrounding it. the light is natural all day long. there are no electric lights in there at all. it is all sunlight coming in. she had a desk and chair where she would spend hours writing letters. a lot of what we know about her -- much of what we know from the camp comes from the letters she wrote to family and friends. the hoovers had this fireplace built. they would enjoy fires all
evening long. many guests would sit out here all stop many of them were sitting on this porch. mrs. hoover love to smell the smoke of a campfire. she wanted have that smell all day long. mrs. hoover wanted her gardens to be different then the white house. she wanted to be informal and she is quoted as saying that she wanted them to be a little bit wildish. that meant that she did not want formal beds and she wanted everything out there randomly. she wanted the paths to be lined with rocks so that you could find your way, but nothing outstanding. she wanted to blend in. this rock structure behind me is a very rustic fountain made from rocks from the local area. this is the rock garden which she referred to as her "rockery." she enjoyed emphasizing rocks because i was her love of geology. >> how did the hoover's use
this? did this help with the strains of the depression? >> yes. it helped with all the negativity around them and the problems with getting anything through congress. what they did was, this was a man had looked for as a way to get out of washington, they located a property in the shenandoah mountains. lou designed the house and they went as frequently as they could. they did not go alone. they were frequently with friends. there is one report that $100,000 was spent. that was a considerable amount of money. >> were they conscious about
going to a camp when people were in hoovervilles? >> i don't think they were concerned about that. one of the things that came out of this is that as part of spending time there they , discovered the children who had lived in the region had never been to school. >> let's show that clip about the children at the hoover school. getting that ready. while we're getting that ready, let's have a call. renée. >> i was wondering if hoover -- i have heard that he did not take a salary. i have heard that president kennedy did not accept his salary. they were saying that they were the only president. i was wondering what is right and i was wondering did hoover
, donate some of the money to charity? >> i do not know about president kennedy. hoover did not accept a salary in any of his public service positions. he kept a separate account. he worked for free for the relief of belgium. >> related question on facebook. can you discuss how the hoovers paid for entertaining during the depression and what the public thought of that. >> there was a fund set aside but they did quite a bit of entertaining on their own. all of that would have come out of their foineds as well as i mentioned earlier they sometimes
paid for staff. hey paid for their own secretaries. >> was this all known by the public? >> because p.r. was not their strong suit is probably the best way to put it. >> burt's secretary begged people to let the people know about his acts of charity and kindness and caring for youth. we go back to the fact that lou was going to run her own shop and therefore there wasn't anybody to tell her what she ight want to do to improve how he public perceived her. >> let's show that you clip of lou hoover with the children. >> now you tell me the names of .ome of these mountains
with the state of virginia to make sure a teacher was funded and that school stayed in place. >>called back stairs to the white house. and in that series, they did not really portray the hoovers very well in terms of how they reated the servants. >> on twitter, what was the most challenging thing about the great depression for flotus lou hoover to deal with? >> wow, that is a tough question. probably the most difficult thing is what she saw it do to burt. >> how was she with the media. you talked about him not having a good sense of pr. did she give formal interviews or press conferences? >> no, she did not. there's an interesting piece written by the society writer in "the new york times" in the late 1930s that talks about the fact that mrs. hoover did not meet with reporters one time. the first time we see a formal meeting with reporters was in july of 1932. we're in campaign season now. and if she had a tea -- excuse me, a luncheon for women
reporters. it's important to note that women reporters were not writing for the front page. she was writing for the society page. this is still a women's issue. >> talking about radio, lou hoover used the radio as well nd did a series of addresses. we're going to listen to one of those right now and talked about ow radio helped the hoovers in their approach to the epression.
>> in some ways, restaging the address to the nation. >> absolutely. she's the first first lady to make a public national radio address. she's using it to try to push this volunteerist message which is very much in keeping with what herbert hoover is doing at that time. and it's interesting she's doing these talks to the girl scouts which she actually in 1932 comes up with a plan called the rapidan plan after the -- after the -- they had where they formulated it. but it's basically this effort
to try and muster the resources of the girl scouts into a more coordinated organized effort to help coordinate with local and state relief agencies. and at the very same time -- and she actually has an individual who helps with it who at the same time is working with the president himself on his -- by that time, his president's organization for unemployment relief. so -- so lou's volunteerist work and that she's forecasting to the nation to try to urge them o work with others as the girl scouts are doing is actually coordinating at the same time with the kind of things that
herbert hoover is doing within the administration. and so she's complimenting his policy. >> on this question of how she dealt with the press, robin glass on facebook said i heard lou hoover kept her papers so private that they weren't open until 40 years after her death because in doing so would violate the privacy of the people she helped financially you spent time in her papers? >> it is true. bert made the decision that her papers would not be open until 40 years until she passed away. concerns about things that may have been written about people in her letters and in her correspondence. but she was very much press averse. it was interesting that she really made a lot of use of the radio to try to promote her causes which were used and which were the girl scouts, but also to try to push the olunteerism. >> denise in west covina, california. >> hi, good evening. thanks so much for taking my call. and your outstanding program. there has not been any mention of whether or not they had children. did they have children? did they die in infancy? or did they live to adulthood? and did they have successes? thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> the hoovers had two boys, herbert jr. born in 1903. alan in 1907. they were born in london, this is where bert was working at the time. the hoovers lived there. both were extremely successful. one of the interesting stories talking about camp rapidan that the older son, herbert jr. was diagnosed with tuberculosis when he went to the physical. tuberculosis at that time was a very serious disease. it was not always curable. this is, of course, pre-antibiotics. and the hoovers had herbert jr. living in camp rapidan for the beginning of the convalescence until the winter set in and they located a sanitarium for him to be in to continue it in ashland, north carolina. in the year that herbert jr. was convalescing, lou invited the
daughter-in-law and his children to live in the white house. here were children running around the white house at that time. that wasn't necessarily successful in softening the image. hey didn't want the children photographed or things written about them. >> this is the period of time when the nation was transfixed by the lindbergh baby kidnapping and whether or not that affected the sense of security for the first family in the white house and whether or not there was increased worry about threats to the children. >> i believe -- and i mean we talked about this before that there was increased security after the -- the lindbergh kidnapping in order to protect the white house and whatever the children might feel about it at times. but there's an increased concern bout assassination threats against herbert hoover himself
especially as this sort of protest about the depression continues. so security is certainly a very important factor in the white house at this time and the secret service is very much vigilant. >> on twitter, how was the marriage between the hoovers affected by the great depression? >> well, they had always been ery, very close partners but they were not as close in their partnership during these four ears in the white house. bert kind of pulled into himself a little bit. asn't as communicative as he
had been. and it took a toll. one of the hoovers easons told him many years later that the parents staying in the white house for four years was a mistake because of the stress it put on their relationship. >> jennifer sherman tweets, on realizing that the most part, the real role for flotus, which stands for first lady of the united states is essentially advisor in chief or gatekeeper. steven watching us in new york city. hi, steven, you're on. >> i wanted to know, were the hoovers the wealthiest of all of the first families? the first couples? >> they were very wealthy. were they the wealthiest? >> no, i don't. and the interesting thing on comparison of that is we would have to be able to compare in constant hours because what
money would have been at that time would not be money, say, for a bush fortune. >> yet, there's a task for you. >> there you go. >> i think that they believed that george washington was the wealthiest of all of the presidents if you can calculate everything was based in the plantations and slavery. but herbert hoover, i think, had about $4 million that he had made by 1914 which in today's dollars is anywhere from $75 million to $90 million. he may have been wealthier than his successor, fdr, who inherited his wealth. herbert hoover made it from scratch. he was one of the wealthiest but not the wealthiest. >> next from your town, charlotte, west virginia. his is dan on the air. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i always wondered why the library was in -- >> dan, i'm so sorry. i pushed the button at the wrong time. that's my fault. charles, santa fe, new mexico. if you can get back in, we'll take your questions. my apologies. charles, your question from santa fe. >> thank you for taking my call. i'm enjoying this series. i'm a native of iowa. my only real experience with the hoovers was a television series called back stairs to the white house. and in that series, they did not really portray the hoovers very well in terms of how they reated the servants.
>> charles, i'm going to stop you. we had that question early in the program. with some examples which i think you're going to give our caller at the very beginning had seen the series as you and you agree, they were not always the best to those who worked in the white house? >> i think we have to be careful. there was money to be made after he hoovers left because of the negativity. there was money to be made in elling bad stories about the hoovers. so we have to be really careful in what we interpret in what we hear. >> the accounts exist but the voracity is something they have to look at. >> we often visit the smithsonian which you know has the first lady's dress collection and we're going look at lou hoover next. >> she was a fascinating determined and fashionable first lady. the floral, an informal, lighter, something like a garden party. the other dress, the long dress, is a relate exception dress. it was actually worn for a reception for the girl scouts of america, a cause very close to lou hoover's heart. she was not only the honorary
president of the girl scouts as first lady but the active president of girl scouts. we'll take you to the storage area. you'll see a few more pieces owned by lou hoover. may have been worn with the evening dress on display downstairs. >> this eyeglass on a chain appears with a picture of her in that evening gown and in her white house fortune. she was outdoor si and elegant. she made best dress list before she made first lady and was the first to appear in "vogue. this dress was donated to the museum to be worn by the mannequin in the first ladies' exhibit. it was worn with these shoes and represented mrs. hoover until 1987. she's one of the only first ladies for whom we have day wear. the black and white silk dress
in clover pattern shows the more business-oriented side of lou hoover and the first ladies. >> that's a view of some of the first ladies' collection in the smithsonian. so helpful to us throughout the series. we appreciate it. what did she do to change the white house during her tenure there? >> thinking of the structure of the building. >> the actual building? okay. et's go to that. one of the things she did was to do some refurbishing on the second floor. she got involve in the building of bookcases as we saw in one of the earlier clips where she had drawings of butterflies and flowers. she did drawings of what she wanted the bookcases to look like on the second floor. she was involved in redoing some
of the downstairs public rooms, not the green room, which was a project that had been started under grace coolidge and finished by committee that had been appointed by congress. but she always -- she did some refurbishing in the red and the blue room as well. >> these are still years of prohibition. what were the hoovers' attitudes toward prohibition. the hardings had parties at the white house. >> they respected prohibition. hoover campaigned in 1948 a law enforcement plank. she was in favor of prohibition. in 1924 on law enforcement. i heard on his way home from work when he was secretary of commerce, i like to stop by the belgian and maybe have a cocktail after the end of the day. so i think presently they weren't tea total. hoover had a quaker background which in some ways would have lent itself toward a more
protemperance stance but they indulged occasionally. >> how popular is prohibition at this point? >> in 1928, it's unclear where the sentiment lies. it's a time before public opinion polling. it's difficult for people to get a read on the nation. as i mentioned before, the campaign is divisive because he's suggesting not a repeal of prohibition, maybe a revision of prohibition. give the states some chance to go wet as it was known in those times if they wanted to. by 1932, it's less popular because of the negative impact they'd have in terms of organized crime.
in 1932, hoover runs on a platform where he's sort of similar in '28 like maybe he's going to be okay with certain kinds of reform at the state level. but the democrats get the platform in 1932. that's going to be repealing prohibition. that's what wins out. >> watching us in colorado springs. hi, sue? >> good evening. thank you so much for this program. mentioned earlier that they were multimillionaires prior to presidency. how did they make their money. >> herbert hoover was a mining engineer. he travelled the gold doing consulting. he invested in quite a number -- he was paid very well for that. but he invested in mines that were mining materials that were in very, very high demand. >> as the depression worsened and the criticism of the man in
the white house continued to mount, here are some quotes from one of the first couples to give me some sense of what her reactions were. >> much reading about the president having thought for the little man and saving the bloated plutocrat, the absolute injustice and downright lying of the statements infuriated me. from herbert hoover said she was oversensitive and the stabs of political life which no doubt were deserved by me, hurt her greatly. any comment on those? >> the first one if i recall correctly i believe, was the a letter she wrote to her children in 1932 trying to justify and try to frame burt's legacy. talking about how he'd always been concerned about the little man and how angry and upset she feels about the way he was being treated and the way he was being ripped apart in the press. and burt is a husband who says what is going on with his wife and had a response to it. but this is also in his memoirs and sometimes in his memoirs, the memory of things is a little
different than what actually happened. > despite the criticism of his policies, herbert hoover makes a decision to run for re-election. ell us about the 1932 election and the outcome? >> well, he -- at first, he's going to -- to stand for re-election but he's not necessarily committed to running for re-election. at that time, the incumbent president of actively seeking the re-election was considered maybe unseemly and herbert hoover has immense respect for the office that he holds. so he decides he's going to make a couple of speeches but it's going to be very dignified, very
restrained. and then it becomes clear as the full of 1932 progresses that he's in serious, serious trouble. and i believe in september, maine, a traditionally republican territory, in state elections were democrats. this is a good indication he's in trouble. so he then embarks on what we call a whistle stop tour, giving a number of radio addresses and returns home to his home in palo alto. it's a landslide against him. it's a very rapid turnaround from someone who had high hopes when he went in. > how did lou hoover participate in that election? >> the same way she had in '28. she was with him in all of the
whistle stop tour. one of the reasons she invited the women reporters in the summer was to try to mend some of those fences that she hasn't really paid a lot of attention to in the previous 3 1/2 years. she's continuing to do the work with the girl scouts and the 4-h and volunteerism and doing the best to support him and try to see that he gets re-elected. >> what was the reaction? do we know the reaction to the outcome? >> there is disappointment. she basically says we're still here and moving on. i think there's hurt that the way that some of the combinations of hurt at the way they've been treated when they tried so hard when their responsibility is not going to be there much longer. >> deepening the connection in palo alto, california. the hoovers designed a house there. going to learn about that next. >> we're at the lou henry hoover
house here on the campus of stanford university. it's significant because this was the primary residence of the hoovers. this was known as the family headquarters and its's significant as it relates to lou hoover because she was the one who designed it. she worked with several architects to come one the plans and they gave her advice, but she was the driving force behind the design of the house. and it was something that really impressed the architects that helped her with the formal blueprints and plans is that she had such a strong grasp of design and how she wanted the house to look, even though she was not an architect that was not her professional training. she was a geologist. but she had a very good sense of space and design, how she wanted the house to look. something she was intimately
involved in. lucky to have a lot of the original drawings, documents, correspondence relating to the design and construction of the herbert hoover house. in the stanford university archives. looking at the documentation related to the building and design of the lou henry hoover house. it's important because it shows how important lou henry was in designing the house. so here's some of the earliest drawings we have from the design of the house. we have some details about the cabinets that they were going be installing. a little foot stool here. design details sketched by lou henry herself. a lot of her influence comes from her travels from the southwest united states. pueblo architecture. also from the travels in north africa when she travels with herbert hoover. so she there's definitely an influence of native cultures, nonamerican cultures, but native american cultures in influencing
the architecture of the house. you can see here was an initial design for arches above the doorway and then that was changed. but there are definitely a lot of arches in the house as well. we have here floor plans of the house. to show details of the rooms. the living room there, the terrace. and you can see that the rooms are designed in a way when they easily exit out to the -- to the outside, the outdoors. it's a great legacy of lou henry's because she designed the house. he created it. it was inspired by her ideas and she had very close involvement in all aspects of the house's creation. >> obviously the hoovers east connection deepened and broadened over the years. the institution is a major part of the campus there. where did all of the money for that come from? was it endowed by the hoovers or build up with private contributions over time.
>> i'm not sure about the hoover institute. i do know when lou was still alive, she did use her personal funds to build a cultural community and musical community there. but the hoover institute came later possibly after lou passed away and was more involved in what herbert did. >> how about west branch, iowa and the -- the preservation of his roots there? >> yes, west branch is where he was born. and lou actually attempted to purchase the land and the home that he was born in and the family who owned it that the time was not interested in selling. at some point, they were able to acquire that property and it is now the hoover presidential library with the restoration of the buildings from bert's
childhood. >> it was dedicated in 1962 by that time lou hoover had passed. but herbert hoover, who lived a long life, was there for the dedication. going show you a clip of that next. >> records of supreme action by the american people. sacrifice to their -- in these records there are, no doubt, many unfavorable remarks made by political opponents as well as the expression of appreciation and affection my heart rings. we may hope that future students will rely upon our friends for onfirmation. [ applause ] >> he lived until he was 90 years old.
he set a record for -- >> until last year, he was the longest serving -- the longest serving president of all time, jimmy carter took that position last year. >> and two modern presidents lived longer than he. gerald ford and ronald reagan living in the early 90s passing his record that the time. tell us about lou hoover's death. >> lou hoover had continued to be physically active as we talked about earlier in the show. she was riding a horse and camping and sleeping on the ground up to her late 60s. she had wanted to continue to live in palo alto but herbert found he enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of new york city so they had an east coast-west coast kind of marriage until 1940 when he convinced her to make her base with him there in new york city and they lived in an apartment in the waldorf astoria. she had gone out to dinner with
a friend, january of 1944. and started to say let's walk back, it's a lovely effect. she said never mind, let's take a cab. she sad good-bye, went upstairs to her apartment. bert was going with a dinner with his friend. he said let me say good-bye to lou. she was collapsed and on the floor. she died of a heart attack. >> timothy, you're on? >> caller: i'm timothy large, i'm the grandson of gene henry large, the sister of lou hoover and i wanted to express how great lady she was and how to appreciate her and her husband. i was born in palo alto. and i wanted to express the eally did care for the kids, grand kids, and relatives.
>> we hope we've done a fair job tonight of telling the story of your relative. thank you for your call. before we go to her legacy where, is she bury? >> she was originally buried in palo alto. they exhumed her body and she's next to bert at west branch. >> when government opens again and all of the institutions are back, you can go to west branch and visit the herbert hoover presidential library there. so the question for both of you, since they were a couple that approached public life together, what should their legacy be? >> i think it is -- as the first lady, her legacy is the way in which she tried to ute lietz her role as first lady to make a call to action to the public issues that she believed in but also that dove tailed with the kind of approach and philosophy of government that her husband had. so they had a legacy in terms of presidential couples for how to -- the delicate balance between